Monday, May 29, 2006

One Self, Leon Russell, and Smokin' Joe Kubek

On Tuesday One Self's C.O.P. (Children of Possibility) Tour is coming to The Depot. One Self is an international hip hop crew featuring D.J. Vadim, Yarah Bravo, and Blu Rum 13. Click here for the One Self promotional video. Local turntablist D.J. Shanty will be opening for One Self. Doors open at 8:00. Tickets are only $10.

Salt Lake City blues band Ides of Soul, who recently opened for Roy Rogers, will be opening for Leon Russell at The Depot on Thursday. Singer and songwriter Leon Russell has released more than 30 albums over the past 40 years. He has written several hits including George Benson's Grammy Award winning "This Masquerade", which was the first song in music history to occupy the number one spot on the jazz, pop, and R&B charts. Doors open at 8:00. Tickets are $20 in advance and $22 day of show.

Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King will be performing at The Depot on Friday and Saturday. Smokin' Joe Kubek was nominated for The Blues Foundation's 2005 W.C. Handy Blues Award for Blues Band of the Year. Kubek partnered up with jazz guitarist Bnois King in 1989 and they have been together ever since. Doors open at 8:00 both nights. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 day of show. If you buy tickets for both nights by Friday, you get Saturday night's tickets at half price.

Next week The Eels, Eagles of Death Metal, and Acoustic Alchemy will be performing at The Depot. We have several good shows coming up including Yellowman, Rusted Root, and Chris Isaak. There are still tickets available for Queensryche's second show at The Depot on November 28th.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Springfield Armory XD 45 ACP

For a long time I have been wanting to buy a Glock. I have also wanted to get my concealed carry permit and Utah Armed Security Officer license. After doing some research on the internet, I decided that I might want to get Springfield Armory's XD 45 ACP because in addition to being a reliable and accurate gun, it has an ergonomic grip so when you raise it to eye level, you are looking right down the sights. The XD 45 ACP is the winner of the American Rifleman Golden Bullseye Award for "Handgun of the Year".

On Monday I went to Doug's Shoot 'N Sports to buy my first gun. I rented the 4" XD 45 ACP and fired 50 rounds on their gun range. I liked the way it felt. I went back upstairs (their gun range is in the basement) and compared the grip angle of the XD 45 to that of a Glock. Although I did not fire the Glock, I felt that the XD 45 grip was better for me. I ordered the 4" XD 45 ACP because they didn't have it in stock. It is hard to keep the XD's in stock because they are so popular. They will call me when it arrives in a week or two.

Firing a gun for the first time reminded me of something that Socrates said in Way of the Peaceful Warrior, which I'm currently reading:

"Understanding is the one-dimensional comprehension of the intellect.
It leads to knowledge.
Realization is three-dimensional -
a simultaneous comprehension of head, heart, and instinct.
It comes only from direct experience."
I had seen guns fired in movies and thought about what it would be like to fire a gun, but I didn't realize what it was like until I experienced it.

A couple of weeks ago I called Clark Aposhian, who is the firearms instructor at Impact Guns in Ogden, inquiring about dates and rates for his CCW and ASO training. He said that he would email me that info. I called him again on Monday because I had not received his email and he emailed me right away. I am going to be taking his 2-day class on June 7th and 8th. This class will allow me to get both my Concealed Carry permit and my Utah Armed Security Officer license.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Farewell June and Warrant

Tomorrow (Tuesday) night Christian group Farewell June will be performing at Calvary Chapel S.L.C. Doors open at 6:30 and the show starts at 7. For more info call (801)264-9999.

This week we have a variety of shows at The Depot. On Wednesday Roomful of Blues, winner of The Blues Foundation's 2004 Handy Award for Blues Band of the Year, will be performing. Click here for some videos of Roomful of Blues. Doors open at 7. Tickets are only $15.

Thursday night we have The Cairo Gang and Tolchok Trio opening for British rock group The Fall. Doors open at 8. Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 day of show.

Utah heavy metal band Antix will be opening for 80's heavy metal band Warrant on Saturday. Click here to see Antix's videos. Doors open at 8. Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 day of show.

Next week D.J. Vadim, Leon Russel, and Smokin' Joe Kubek will be performing at The Depot. Yellowman is coming to The Depot next month. In July, Rusted Root and Chris Isaak will be performing. Queensryche, who already has a sold out show on September 30th, will be coming back for a second show at The Depot on November 28th. Get your tickets now because this show will definitely sell out too!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Target-Focus Training

Yesterday I bought TFT's "The Works" package. TFT (Target-Focus Training) is a self-protection program, as opposed to a self-defense program, created by Tim Larkin. I have been interested in TFT for a couple of years now. Tim Larkin had an article in the June issue of Black Belt magazine (it's on newstands until Monday, May 22nd) and he was on the cover so TFT is having a "Tim's-On-The-Cover" sale. "The Works" package normally costs $537 or $49.75 per month for 12 months. With the "Tim's-On-The-Cover" sale this package is only $437 or $41 per month. I went with the monthly payment plan. "The Works" package contains the 17 DVD "How To Survive The Most Critical 5 Seconds Of Your Life" program, 3 teleconference certificates that give you direct access to Tim or his instructors, a certificate good for $200 off any live training, and the limited edition bonus special 2½-hour Charles Staley Escalating Density Training (EDT) system DVD (an $80 value). This sale also includes discounts on other packages as well as their Full 2½-Day TFT Live Training Workshop. The "Tim's-On-The-Cover" sale ends Tuesday morning, May 23rd. Click here for details on the sale.

On Friday a friend of mine wanted to see The Da Vinci Code, based on the book of the same name, so we saw it at the Megaplex 17 in Sandy. I give it a B-. It was well done but I believe that the basis of the plot (the Gnostic "gospels") is false. This movie takes a little bit of fact and adds a lot of fiction to come up with a story based on a belief that Jesus was married to Mary Magdelene. The Da Vinci Code is about the battle between two groups of people - one group (the Priory of Sion) that wants to protect the location of a vastly important religious relic and another group (Opus Dei) that wants to seize the Priory's secret. X-Men: The Last Stand comes out on Friday. I'm also looking forward to seeing Peaceful Warrior, Click, Superman Returns, Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest, and M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water starring Bryce Howard who also starred in M. Night Shyamalan's The Village and will be starring in Spiderman 3.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Journeys of Socrates

I just finished reading The Journeys of Socrates by Dan Millman. The Journeys of Socrates is the prequel to Way of the Peaceful Warrior (the Peaceful Warrior movie, which is based on Way of the Peaceful Warrior, is coming to select theaters on June 2nd). Here is a quote from The Journeys of Socrates that explains what a peaceful warrior is:

"In truth, Socrates, you have no opponents but yourself.
Make peace within, and there will be no one who can overcome you.
And no one you will wish to overcome."
Here is an excerpt from The Journeys of Socrates that tells a story I have heard before that I like very much:
A story came to him - one that Serafim had told some months before, perhaps intended for this moment. He had spoken of a proud and hot-tempered young samurai who routinely cut down any peasant who gave the least offense. In those days, samurai were a law unto themselves, and such behavior was accepted according to custom.
But one day, after another killing, as he cleaned the blood from his blade and returned it to his scabbard, the young samurai began to worry that the gods might disapprove of his actions and send him to a hellish realm. Desirous to know about eternity, he visited the humble abode of a Zen master named Kanzaki. With expected courtesy, the samurai removed his razor-sharp katana and set it alongside him, bowed deeply and said, "Please tell me of heaven and hell!"
Master Kanzaki gazed at the young samurai and smiled. Then his smile turned to raucous laughter. He pointed to the young warrior as if he had said something hilarious. Wagging his finger, still laughing loudly, Kanzaki said, "You ignorant bumpkin! You presume to ask me, a wise master, about heaven and hell? Do not waste my time, idiot! You are too stupid to possibly comprehend such things!"
The samurai's temper flared to the boiling point. He would have killed anyone else for even pointing at him in such a way. Now he fought to restrain himself despite these insults.
Master Kanzaki was not finished. He remarked casually, "It's quite clear to me that no one of your lineage of louts and fools could understand a word -"
A murderous rage came over the young warrior. He grabbed his katana, leaped to his feet, and raised the sword to take the Zen master's head -
In that very moment, Master Kanzaki pointed to the samurai and said calmly, "There open the gates of hell."
The warrior froze. In that instant, a light illuminated his mind, and he understood the nature of hell. It was not a realm beyond this life but within him now. He dropped to his knees, laid his blade behind him, and bowed deeply to his teacher. "Master, my gratitude knows no bounds for this brave lesson you have taught. Thank you. Thank you!"
Zen master Kanzaki smiled, pointed to him once again, and said, "There open the gates of heaven."
On Monday I bought Way of the Peaceful Warrior and Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior from Borders. I'm going to read these books as Dan Millman suggests - read Way of the Peaceful Warrior until Soc sends Dan away to travel around the world - then read Sacred Journey - and then finish Way of the Peaceful Warrior.
While reading The Journeys of Socrates, I noticed that some of the self defense principles that Socrates learns sounded like some of the principles that I have read about on the Systema Russain Martial Art website. It turns out that I was right - in the Acknowledgments section in the back of The Journeys of Socrates, Dan acknowledges John Giduck, founder of the Russian Martial Arts Training Center in Golden, CO, and Vladimir Vasiliev, Director and Chief Instructor of Systema Headquarters.
By the way, if you read The Journeys of Socrates, I suggest that you don't read the "REVELATIONS FROM THE YEARS THAT FOLLOWED" section at the back of the book until after you have read Way of the Peaceful Warrior and Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior because there is a spoiler in there.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

If Al Gore Were President

Tonight (this morning) while watching the news on my lunch break, they showed parts of a SNL video clip titled "If Al Gore Were President". Check it out at My favorite line (taken from Steve's rough transcript) is:

"As for immigration, solving that came at a heavy cost, and I personally regret the loss of California. However, the new Mexifornian economy is strong and el Presidente Schwarznegger is doing a great job."

I don't agree with all of the points in this video but it is funny.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Security Team at The Depot

We have a good Security Team at The Depot. The Security Team consists of Sean, John, "Irish", Danny, Nate, Tom, Domani, and me. Sean is the Security Director. He has a lot of experience in the Security and Hospitality industries. John (a.k.a. "Obi-Wan") and I were the first to be hired for Security at The Depot. Sean (a.k.a. "Irish") is 300+ lbs of muscle. Unlike a lot of big guys that do Security, he actually works instead of having the "I'm here because I'm big so I don't have to work" attitude. Danny (a.k.a. "English") is in the military. He blows stuff up. Nate used to be in the Navy. He's a talkative guy. Tom is a nice guy. Domani is a friend of one of my best friends, John. She is from John's hometown in Pennsylvania. We had heard about each other from John, but had never met each other. I am glad that she is on our team.

We have four shows at The Depot this week. Roy Rogers & The Delta Rythym Kings will be performing on Wednesday and Thursday. Roy Rogers is a northern California-based blues guitarist. He was a member of John Lee Hooker's Coast to Coast Blues Band in the 80's. Ides of Soul will be the opening band on Wednesday. The Legendary Porch Pounders will be the opening band on Thursday. Georgian country singer Billy Currington will be performing on Friday. On Saturday KBER 101 presents the Salt Lake Soundcheck featuring Super So Far, Thunderfist, and Invisible Rays. The cover charge is only $1.01 for this show (membership is required; a two-week membership is only $5; you can sponsor up to 6 people).

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Special ACLU Alert

Just a few months ago, the multi-million dollar machine known as the ACLU strong-armed and raided the school budget for one of the poorest counties in the land. A few years before, the ACLU had won a court order to have Ten Commandment monuments removed from three Adams County, Ohio high schools. It didn’t matter that the monuments were unanimously approved by the school-board, and privately funded. Once removed, the ACLU had the audacity to return to federal court to demand that the school board (one of the poorest in the nation) cough up $80,000 for legal bills--and the judge agreed!

This is why Grassfire is taking action against the ACLU, and why we launched our nationwide petition to expose and ultimately defeat the ALCU. Our goal is to expose the kind of travesty and heartache they are bringing to the communities of our nation, and educate citizens to the real truth and motivation ofthe ACLU. Please take a moment to add your name to our petition.

As part of our plan to defeat the ACLU, we needed to find a legal organization dedicated to protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens, with a proven track record against groups like the ALCU. We found the Liberty Counsel, one of the nation's foremost legal defense organizations established to preserve our First Amendment Rights.

With your help, we can expose and defeat theACLU so that they cannot terrorize Americans withtheir "storm-trooper" tactics. As their founder, Roger Baldwin said, "We [the ALCU] are for socialism, disarmament and ultimately for abolishingthe state itself...we seek the social ownership ofproperty...and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal." This is the real ACLU, and we need you to help us enlighten a nation of people who have been deceived by signing our national petition. Thank you for standing with us against the ACLU.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories

Armed with a video camera, a home-made press pass, and a single phone number written on a piece of paper, amateur filmmaker Mike Shiley chronicled a 2 month journey inside Iraq to uncover the reality of life beyond the spin about the US and Iraqi militaries and the Iraqi people. The result of Mike's 2 month journey inside Iraq is Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories. Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories will be showing at Tower Theater this Friday and Saturday, May 12th and 13th, at 7:00 P.M. Mike Shiley will be answering questions immediately after the film. Free parking is available at the Smith's lot at 876 E 800 S, just one block from Tower Theater. Office Space is the midnight movie at Tower Theater this Friday and Saturday.

Brick, a movie that I have been wanting to be released for a long time, is finally showing at Broadway Center Cinemas this Friday, May 12th. I hope that the Salt Lake Film Society will bring Peaceful Warrior to Salt Lake City. You can join the Salt Lake Film Society's email list here.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

This Week at The Depot

This week there are two shows at The Depot. On Thursday we have two great ska bands in the house - Two And A Half White Guys (from Provo, Utah) will be opening for The Slackers (from N.Y.C.; pictured above). You can get tickets here. On Saturday SPORK and Up in the Night will be opening for Almost Undone. There is no cover for this show. Drink specials for the night are $2 Drafts and $5 Long Islands. Doors will open at 8:00 P.M. for both shows.

Warrant is coming to The Depot on May 27th. Chris Isaak will be there on July 29th. Go to for tickets and info about other upcoming shows.

Sunday I saw Mission: Impossible III. I give it an A. It was better than Mission: Impossible and Mission: Impossible II. With J.J. Abrams as director and co-writer, it had to be good! I'm looking forward to seeing X-Men: The Last Stand, The Break-Up, Peaceful Warrior, The Omen, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Click, Waist Deep, & Superman Returns.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Gas War

One of my high school friends, Alex, forwarded an email to me with an effective solution to bring down gas prices. Here is the message:

GAS WAR - An Idea That WILL Work

This was originally sent by a retired Coca Cola executive. It came from one of his engineer buddies who retired from Halliburton. It's worth your consideration.

Join the resistance!!!! I hear we are going to hit close to $4.00 a gallon by next summer and it might go higher!! Want gasoline prices to come down? We need to take some intelligent, united action. Phillip Hollsworth offered this good idea.

This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the "don't buy gas on a certain day" campaign that was going around last April or May! The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn't continue to "hurt" ourselves by refusing to buy gas. It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them.

BUT, whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can really work. Please read on and join with us! By now you're probably thinking gasoline priced at about $1.50 is super cheap. Me too! It is currently $2.79 for regular unleaded in my town. Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at $1.50 - $1.75, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control themarketplace..... not sellers. With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we hit someone in the pocketbook by not purchasing their gas! And, we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves. How? Since we all rely on our cars, we can't just stop buying gas. But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together to force a price war.

Here's the idea:

For the rest of this year, DON'T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL. If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit.

This sounds like a plan that might actually work. I buy gas from Chevron (because they have Techron) and Holiday Oil (they have the car wash that is nearest to my house) so I'm already following this plan.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Baptism for the Dead?

One of the beliefs of the LDS church that I know is not true is their belief in baptism for the dead. They base this practice on 1 Cor. 15:29. Here is an article from that explains verse 29 and its context in 1 Cor. 15:

What is Baptism for the Dead Mentioned in 1 Cor. 15:29?

"Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?" (1 Cor. 15:29, NASB).
Numerous explanations have been offered for this verse ranging from the inane to the sophisticated. Mormonism, in particular, has claimed that this verse supports their view of baptism for the dead. In their practice, individuals go to their local Mormon temple, dress appropriately for a baptism, representatively adopt the name of a person who has died, and then the Mormon is baptized in water for that deceased person. This way, the dead person has fulfilled the requirements of salvation in the afterworld and can enjoy further spiritual benefits in the spiritual realm.
But, the Mormons are incorrect. They have usurped this verse and taken it out of context. So, let's examine 1 Cor. 15 briefly so we can see what Paul is talking about when he mentions baptism for the dead.
In Verses 1-19, the fact of Christ's resurrection is detailed by Paul. Beginning in verse 20 and going through verse 23, Paul speaks about the order of the resurrection. Christ is the first one raised -- in a glorified body -- and then who are His at His return. Next, verses 24 - 29 mention Christ's reign and the abolition of death. This is when this controversial verse occurs: "Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?"
Just north of Corinth was a city named Eleusis. This was the location of a pagan religion where baptism in the sea was practiced to guarantee a good afterlife. This religion was mention by Homer in Hymn to Demeter 478-79. The Corinthians were known to be heavily influenced by other customs. After all, they were in a large economic area where a great many different people frequented. It is probable that the Corinthians were being influenced by the religious practices found at Eleusis where baptism for the dead was practiced.
Paul used this example from the pagans in 1 Cor. 15:29, when he said, "...if the dead are not raised, then why are they baptized for the dead?" Paul did not say we. This is significant because the Christian church was not practicing baptism for the dead, but the pagans were.
Paul's point was simple. The resurrection is a reality. It is going to happen when Jesus returns. Even the pagans believe in the resurrection, otherwise, why would they baptize for the dead?
However, some are not convinced by this argument and state that the word "they" is not in the Greek and, therefore, Paul is not speaking about the pagans.. Let's take a look.
Literally, the verse is translated as "Since what will do the being immersed on behalf of the dead if wholly dead not are raised why also are they immersed on behalf of them."
The issue here is the word, "baptizontai" -- "they are baptized." It is the present, passive, indicative, 3rd person, plural. In other words, it is THEY ARE BEING BAPTIZED or, THEY ARE BAPTIZED.

I -- first person singular
you (singular) -- second person singular
he/she/it -- third person singular
we -- first person plural
you (plural) -- second person plural
they -- third person plural
It is the latter form, the third person plural (they) which the verb "baptizo" is in. Therefore, the best translation is "THEY are baptized."
The Institute for Religous Research website has a more detailed article about baptism for the dead titled "Did Jesus Establish Baptism for the Dead?". This article talks about 1 Corinthians 15:29 as a single verse, in the broader context, and in the immediate context. This article also explains that 1 Cor. 15:40-41 is comparing our resurrection bodies to our mortal bodies. It is not comparing three different levels of heaven to each other as the LDS church teaches it does.
If you are LDS and have read this, I pray that you will pray about this with an open mind and heart. I will end this post with this verse:
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said,
"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Church in the Park

Tomorrow night at 6:30 P.M. Calvary Chapel S.L.C. will be hosting Church in the Park at Sugarhouse Park, in the Park Lake Terrace, 2100 S 1300 E. Church in the Park is a BBQ and outdoor church service. Calvary Chapel S.L.C. will be providing meat for this BBQ. We are asking attendees to bring a side dish. We will be hosting Church in the Park every month until September. For more info you can call (801)264-9999.

Thursday is the National Day of Prayer. There will be a National Day of Prayer Event in Salt Lake City at the County Courthouse Building located at 400 South State St at 6:30 P.M. Local pastors will lead public prayer on behalf of our nation. Inspirational music will be presented by local choirs and special musical presentations. Click here to find an event near you.

Last night I went online and bought a pair of dress shoes because The Depot wants us to wear dress shoes and slacks instead of boots and BDUs. This afternoon I bought The Journey of Socrates by Dan Millman. The Journey of Socrates is the first book of the Peaceful Warrior saga. The Peaceful Warrior movie is coming out on June 2nd. I still want to see United 93. I also want to see Mission: Impossible III and X-Men: The Last Stand.

I have added the email subscription option to my blog. If you want to get an email every time I add a new post, look for the box that says "Enter your email address:" in the sidebar on the right. Then enter your email address and click the "Subscribe" button. You can still use the other subscription options.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Graveyard Shift

Right now I am working my first graveyard shift for the Clearwire project at Teleperformance. My shift runs from 8 P.M. until 7 A.M. with a 1 hour lunch. I will be working this shift Sunday through Wednesday. It is very slow on the graveyard shift so I should be able to post on my blog more regularly. Slackis is one of the L2s for Clearwire. L2s or "Leads" are one level above a regular call center agent and one level below Supervisors. I've added a link to Slackis's website under Neighbors (People Who Live in Utah) under BLOGS/PERSONAL WEBSITES in the column on the right.

I worked Security at The Depot on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On Thursday Pinback performed. Friday and Saturday nights we had some local DJs spinning. Friday it was DJ Jesse Walker and Saturday it was U-92's DJ E-Flexx.

This Thursday country singer Brian McComas will be performing at The Depot. On Friday British DJ B.T. will be spinning house music with guest DJs Nebula & Davey Jones. Saturday night Amina will be opening for Icelandic post-rock group Sigur Ros.